Science film on study led by Irish neuroscientist wins award

Focus of short film is on removed blood clots and the information they may yield

A Tiny Spark, the most recent film produced through the Science on Screen project,has been awarded best medical short at Sci On! Film Festival in Nevada in the US. The initiative was created by Cúram, the Science Foundation Ireland Research Centre for Medical Devices at NUI Galway and Galway Film Centre.

The film focuses on the first study of its kind in the world, which is being led by NUIG neuroscientist Dr Karen Doyle, who analyses removed blood clots to determine what information they may yield in seeking improvements to people's lives.

Directed by Niamh Heery and produced by Caroline Kealy of Swansong Films with animations by Eric Dolan, the film meets three stroke survivors – Rebecca, Trevor and Helen – who talk about life after a stroke and their individual roads to recovery.

This research is an international collaborative study between NUIG, hospital partners in Beaumont Hospital and throughout Europe, and the Mayo Clinic in the US.


One of the festival judges said: “Such a powerful and perfectly-made film. The subject matter is so vital and relevant. It’s hard to find the words to describe such a meaningful and compassionate treatment of a condition that has impacted so many of us directly or indirectly, personally or through a friend or family member. Thank you for helping raise awareness – and to show that there is hope.”

Kevin O'Sullivan

Kevin O'Sullivan

Kevin O'Sullivan is Environment and Science Editor and former editor of The Irish Times